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Start-up baiting students to study

Do you remember back in the days, when you would clean your room to collect that dollar and be a step closer to getting hold of that Barbie or football?

StudyBooster takes a spin on this idea by using financial incentives to motivate students to achieve their goals. According to a 2010 Harvard study, paying students to learn has proven to be highly effective. Putting the financials aside, the program can get students in the habit of setting goals correctly and successfully.

The process goes like this. Students simply go on the website studybooster.com, they take a few minutes to create their profile and set an academic goal with a definite end date. Goals can range from getting an A at a particular subject, to having good attendance or doing a certain number of hours of homework each night.

This is then shared with parents, family and friends via social media such as Facebook, Twitter or email. They are invited to sponsor the student in achieving that goal. Once the student achieves that goal, the funds will be released. If the student doesn’t achieve the goal, the sponsors have the opportunity to get a refund or to donate the money to charity.

StudyBooster will take 2 percent of the StudyBoost amount and donate it to the charity organisation, Save the Children. Dominic Bressan, co-founder of StudyBooster said “Save the Children is a highly reputable charity that has great programs to help fund new school development and help less fortunate students to learn.”

It’s not surprising that parents would be skeptical in participating. Will this program teach students the mentality that they are studying for the sake of money and not to learn?

Jorden Minos, the other co-founder of StudyBooster answers that “certainly study booster may not work for every student. It’s a tool that can be used to assist and motivate students with subject areas that they may not be particularly interested in or motivated in.”

Many parents are happy to set a financial reward to help their children study.

And Bressan believes it’s not just mums and dads. He says, “It’s a chance for your grandparents, aunties, uncles and everyone else to get involved in helping your education. It gives them a chance to see you set your goals and progress through school. We found that it was particularly relevant to overseas students who have their friends and families back home. It gives them the chance to stay connected and allow those abroad to be involved with the student’s academic journey.”

At the moment, StudyBooster is raising capital to fund opportunities, additional features and further developments. Bressan’s advice to start-ups is to “choose your co-founders wisely. You spend a lot of time working with these guys, so if you don’t like or trust them, you’re going to be in trouble.”

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Amy Pun

Amy Pun

Amy Pun is a journalist at Dynamic Business and Dynamic Export. Amy is interested in online journalism and social media. She is studying in her 4th year at the University of Sydney doing Bachelor of Arts Media and Communications and Bachelor of Law. She's looking forward to working with the DB team!

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